AlphA All in One, Film Budgeting Software

AlphA All in One Film Budgeting Software: Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Mention a discount in a quote and calculate the new rate

A: Enter the normal rate. Then in User preferences, select the option "Display column of markup % included in rates". The column AF is displayed. In the row, enter for example -20. The rate that is displayed for the client is the normal rate - 20%. Then, to the right of the item heading insert "Discount - 20%". It is possible to write a formula for this: = "Discount"&AF102&"%" for row 102, for example.

Q: Disappearance of the logos, replaced by a red cross

A: This is a random Office / El Capitan bug, a symptom of a faulty installation probably due to migrations on new computers (procedure to be banned because it recovers the old bugs if any...). You must initialize Office by removing the Microsoft folder in the Application Support folder of the Users / Library folder and all files starting with in the Preferences folder of Users / Library and the Microsoft folder in the same Preferences folder, if any. To display the Library folder, click the Go menu of the Finder while pressing the Alt key.

Q: Accelerate and reduce PDF size when printing on older versions (<1.42)

A: Select "Normal" for the print quality in the Excel print window.

Q: Offering an item and mention it in the estimate (avoid it being masked during in reduced view mode)

A: Enter 0.001 for the rate.

Q: Menus do not work

A: Use Excel menu Tools / Macro and locate the name of the macro (but this is not obvious). Contact maintenance.

Q: How to find the license key

A: Menu «Navigator / About»

Q: Production Notes

A: You can copy a production note from Word and paste it into the placeholders for the 3 note pads in the Summary of the quote.

Q: Office 2011 License Key

A: Replace the Office Preferences file in the Library folder of the hard disk at the root (explanations and download here).

Q: Change the information (address, tel, email ...) below the logo

A: Select the cell containing the address and click Yes to the message that appears. You will then be redirected to a sheet where you can enter the new information. Click on the "Back" button to quit this sheet.

Q: The logos do not print while they appear in the preview of the print window.

A: The OSX installation is defective. Do a reinstallation or an upgrade with a more recent OSX, see here.

Q: Which versions of Excel should I use?

A: On PC, any version equals or after MS Office 2007. On Mac, any version above 2011. Note that all versions must updated with Microsoft Office free updates via Excel Menu «Help/Check for updates».

Q: How do I import my client data in the demo version?

A: Open the demo version and use the menu «Navig/About...». Then click on the button «Import client data» and choose an ancient file. At last, select a Client label.

Q: The program is unstable, freezes or Excel quits unexpectedly...

A: Probably because Excel is not updated with the latest free Microsoft Updates (check Excel "Help / Search for Updates" menu).

  1. -Restart the computer, open Excel and repeat the test. If it still does not work, close all Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel ...) and then move to the trash Microsoft preferences (files starting with and "Microsoft" folder) that are located in "Users / Home / Library / Preferences" folder. Then re-start Excel. With Mac OS 10.8, you can access this library by simultaneously pushing the Tab key when activating the «Go» menu in desktop finder.

  2. -Move also the whole folder Microsoft that is located in "Users / Home / Library / Application Support" folder.

- It can be useful to clean the computer and repair permissions with the free program Onyx.

- In general, it is advised to disable automatic backups of Excel files (Excel menu "Preferences / Save" on a Mac).

- If it does not correct the instability, use another computer. It will determine if the problem has to do with the file or with Excel or with the operating system or with the computer itself.

- If the file is corrupted, you can sometimes fix it by saving it in Windows Excel. Otherwise you have to redo manually the quotes (see a quick method in the FAQ below) or contact the maintenance service (we will analyze the problem, may be fix it but not redo the file).

  1. -It is also advised to avoid working on a hosted network or a server. Indeed, if the internet or the intranet connection have micro-instabilities, it may corrupt the file.

Q: AlphA 1.32 quits unexpectedly, what to do?

A: Try applying the patch 1.0 that can solve this problem.

Q: Excel crashes when printing...

A: A local solution is to adjust the print zoom ratio in the AlphA window that appears right after the launch of a print. You can also adjust the zoom in the Excel printing window (not the AlphA window but the one including the button to print the PDF). The long-term solution if the problem persists, may be to adjust the fine tuning default zoom in AlphA "User Preferences", page "Print and Other" and then save the template.

Q: Menus "Navig" and "Tasks" appears but nothing happens when they are active...

A: This problem can occur when the file name contains the character "?".

Q: I accidentally saved the file with the extension xlsx (instead of .xlsb), how to recover or quickly redo the file?

A: In this case, the macros are gone. It is not possible to recover them and therefore the file. We must redo it with quotes and additives. Starting with a virgin model with the same User Preferences (currencies...), you can use the menu "Import in this sheet" to rebuild a main quote in full (in the dialog box, select the file inadvertently saved in xlsx and then select the quote). Warning, this procedure doesn’t import neither the "Working Budget" nor the "Actuals" sections of a quote. You can also use the menu "Import an additive" to import them from the xlsx file. However, there is no automated procedure to import a "Consolidated Account Log" and this one should be done manually, if necessary.

Q: I can not confirm (validate) a quote and sales do not appear in the "Consolidated Account Log"...

A: An estimate is confirmed in the "Validated" column in the "List of created quotes" sheet accessible with "Navig" menu.

Q: Can I cut and paste?

A: Technically, you can in some cases but it strongly advised not to (same thing for copy and paste of cells which contain formulas)!

Q: Excel mentions circular references...

A: If, on any Excel files opened (AlphA or else), there is a circular reference, i.e. a formula that you entered and that refers to itself, it may interfere with the functioning of AlphA (like any other Excel sheet - Excel biting its tail!). It is therefore necessary to identify the formula and it is not always easy. Try at first to exit Excel and reopen the matrix to see whether the circular reference is still there. If yes, you must find it and eliminate it...

Q: The menus "Tasks" and "Navig" do not show proper submenus when they are deployed...

A: It may be a problem with updating menus. Click on a different tab and return to previous sheet can update menus.

Q: The menus "Tasks" and "Navig" do not appear...

A: The file may have been saved with the extension xlsx or you are trying to open it with Mac Office 2008 (a version to be banished) or you didn’t enabled macros, in which case this is normal. If the problem persists with a correct extension (.xlsb), macros are enabled and the version of Excel is at least 2011, open a blank sheet with the "File" Excel menu / "New" and then return to the AlphA file. This procedure normally updates "Tasks" and "Navig" menus.

Q: Can I disable the message "Enable Macros" at the opening of an AlphA file?

A: Yes, in Excel preferences, check the "Security" tab.

Q: How to send to a client a detail of actual expenditures with a fixed margin

A: Use either the Working Budget or the Actuals mode. The Summary displays the margin resulting from the difference between the cost of production and the sales mentioned. Then adjust the Negotiated At amount to get the desired margin.

Q: The Summary is divided in two parts when it should one only..

A. This rarely happens, but in case, you must update the presentation of the Summary using the "Navig / Summary" menu, click on the "Recap" button in the top bar when you are in the budget or do ctrl R.

Q: How to display columns of margin and overhead while the follow-up mode is displayed?

A. In the interface of the follow-up mode (menu Tasks / Follow-up), click on the button "Show Columns of Qty, Nb, Rates, Markup%." You can also hide Qt, Nb and Rates columns in the client section (on the left) with the button of the same name.

Q : Some ### appear in cells...

A. This phenomenon can occur with exceptionally large figures. When it happens, you can adjust the size of the font to fix this issue.


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